Steve Torrence NHRA Team aligns with Chris Kyle Frog Foundation

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Shared values are at the core of professional drag racer Steve Torrence’s announcement Monday that he is entering into a strategic partnership with the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation. Torrence’s goal is to increase awareness of the non-profit, which was founded by Chris’s wife Taya to carry on Kyle’s vision.

“Chris was all about God, family and country,” Torrence said. “He was passionate about those things and so am I. The fact that we’re both Texans and that we shared a love of the outdoors and of properly-used firearms made this association a no-brainer.

“I just wish Chris was here to see his dream of helping the families of military members and first responders coming true through the efforts of his wife and the foundation.”

Kyle, a Navy SEAL who served five tours of duty in Iraq, became the most decorated sniper in American military history. He was shot and killed at a shooting range in 2012 by a fellow veteran he was counseling at the request of the man’s family. Kyle wrote the book American Sniper, the inspiration for the blockbuster movie. A second Kyle-written book, American Gun, was completed by Taya and released after his death.

Torrence, a four-time winner on the NHRA pro tour, will debut a Chris Kyle Frog Foundation version of his Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster when the Mello Yello Series moves to Houston this week (April 24-26) for the 28th annual O’Reilly Spring Nationals, one of the circuit’s two Texas stops. The foundation’s frog logo will be prominently displayed on the 330 mile-per-hour race car as well as on crew uniforms.

The foundation’s immediate goal is to fund a series of “Revitalization Retreats” for married military and first responder couples after deployment — opportunities allowing them to get to know each other again while adapting to changes that occurred during their time away from the family unit.

“Our military and first responders serve bravely, but they are struggling on the home front,” Taya Kyle explained. “Nearly three in four married veterans are likely to have had family problems after deployment and half say (their military service) had a negative effect on their marriages.”

“The experiences provided by the foundation are designed to give veterans an opportunity to re-connect with their spouses and remember what they love about one another,” she said. “Trees without roots fall over and sometimes those roots need re-generation. That’s what we’re here for.”

“It’s an honor for me and the team,” Torrence said of the association. “It’s a wonderful cause I know our fans will support. The military is a brotherhood and so is drag racing.”

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”